Nadine Gordimer’s Burger’s Daughter Essay

1615 Words 7 Pages
Nadine Gordimer’s Burger’s Daughter dramatizes the history of South Africa. Like many of Gordimer’s characters, the wide range in this novel is deeply involved in activities against the white racially-based regime of the National Party. Rosa, around whom the whole story revolves, is born to a white communist couple. To her society, she is undoubtedly her father’s name bearer and successor. However, this young girl constantly thinks of herself as free from all the social roles assigned to her. What stance to maintain is really a thorny query for Rosa who is torn between the social expectations which put her under her father’s umbrella and her own need to enjoy a private life. Gordimer’s choice of a female character to build the story …show more content…
In the first part of the novel, Gordimer comes across what living in the shadow of the father might mean for Rosa. Furthermore, how her entire life is largely shaped by the political dogma of her parents. Rosa is conceived as nothing else apart from Burger’ daughter with even the least physical detail, “a mouth exactly like her father’s” (BD 10). She is raised in a house in which political activism is “the normal atmosphere” (BD 50).
All the characters are involved in politics whether willingly or fatalistically. As to the young Rosa, she starts performing political tasks right from an early age without even being dimly aware of their heavy load. At 18 years old, for instance, requested by her parents, she plays very convincingly the role of the fiancé of Noel de Witt, one of her father’s imprisoned associates to easily get a visit permission to inform him of any news. She innocently does not recognize this prevailing responsibility until her father’s death; she clarifies “I lived in my father’s presence without knowing its meaning” (BD 82). She is unfortunately denied most of her rights. Her life’s alternatives rest largely upon the restrictions imposed by the government. Certainly, being Burger’s daughter would not help to manage an ordinary private life; thus, she is constantly surveilled since she was a 14 years old girl. More than this, she complains “I have no passport because I am my father’s daughter” (BD 62).
As the events of the novel progress

Related Documents